Little Free Library

Posted by martin.parnell |

Sometimes you shouldn’t be too quick to clean out your junk mail. The other day I received a poster from Wordfest Calgary. It said “Dear Mr. Martin J. Parnell, we’d like to invite you to join us on June 9th, 2014, at noon in the centre court of Eau Claire Market for the opening of Wordfest’s Little Free Library. Please click to RSVP. I was intrigued.

I went to the source of all knowledge, Google, and found the following: In the beginning—2009–Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. His neighbors and friends loved it. He built several more and gave them away. Each one had a sign that said FREE BOOKS.

Rick Brooks, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, saw Bol’s do-it-yourself project while they were discussing potential social enterprises. Together, the two saw opportunities to achieve a wide variety of goals for the common good. Each brought different skills to the effort, Bol as a creative craftsman experienced with innovative enterprise models and Brooks as a youth and community development educator with a background in social marketing.

By January of 2014, the total number of registered Little Free Libraries in the world was conservatively estimated to be nearly 15,000, with thousands more being built.

Sue and I headed into Calgary on Monday not sure of what to expect. A group had gathered outside The Bean Stop in Eau Claire Market and there stood the Little Free Library, shrouded in a black sheet, between the Information Kiosk and the Photo Booth.

It was explained to the group that the Little Free Library was basically, “give a book, take a book”. A number of these “Libraries” can be found across Calgary including Colonel Walker School, Ramsey School, Chevron Canada, Mount Royal University and in a number of front yards around the city.

Jo Steffens, Wordfest, Executive Director, stepped up and unveiled the latest Little Free Library in Calgary. I had brought a copy of MARATHON QUEST and placed it on the top shelf. Looking at the various titles I selected “The Smithsonian Institution” by Gore Vidal. I haven’t read any other books by this author but the blurb stating “Vidal’s gift for storytelling and mimicry remain in peak form” Chicago Sun Times, caught my eye.

So next time you want to enter the world of words why not check out your local Little Free Library are see where the journey takes you.

Quote of the week:

"So many books, so little time"

Frank Zappa

The latest Little Free Library located between the Info Kiosk and the Photo Booth at Eau Claire Market in Calgary. "Take a book, return a book."

Little Free Library 


comments powered by Disqus